Proceedings PaperProgrammable lab-on-a-chip system for single cell analysis
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The collection, selection, amplification and detection of minimum genetic samples became a part of everyday life in medical and biological laboratories, to analyze DNA-fragments of pathogens, patient samples and traces on crime scenes. About a decade ago, a handful of researchers began discussing an intriguing idea. Could the equipment needed for everyday chemistry and biology procedures be shrunk to fit on a chip in the size of a fingernail? Miniature devices for, say, analysing DNA and proteins should be faster and cheaper than conventional versions. Lab-on-a-chip is an advanced technology that integrates a microfluidic system on a microscale chip device. The "laboratory" is created by means of channels, mixers, reservoirs, diffusion chambers, integrated electrodes, pumps, valves and more. With lab-ona- chip technology, complete laboratories on a square centimetre can be created. Here, a multifunctional programmable Lab-on-a-Chip driven by nanofluidics and controlled by surface acoustic waves (SAW) is presented. This system combines serial DNA-isolation-, amplification- and array-detection-process on a modified glass-platform. The fluid actuation is controlled via SAW by interdigital transducers implemented in the chemical modified chip surface. The chemical surface modification allows fluid handling in the sub-microliter range. Minute amount of sample material is extracted by laser-based microdissection out of e.g. histological sections at the single cell level. A few picogram of genetic material are isolated and transferred via a low-pressure transfer system (SPATS) onto the chip. Subsequently the genetic material inside single droplets, which behave like "virtual" beaker, is transported to the reaction and analysis centers on the chip surface via surface acoustic waves, mainly known as noise dumping filters in mobile phones. At these "biological reactors" the genetic material is processed, e.g. amplified via polymerase chain reaction methods, and genetically characterized.